Though problems persist in the quality of goods traded online, the municipal e-commerce market is expected to boom in the coming time.
According to a survey of 1,000 enterprises in Hanoi conducted by the Vietnam E-commerce Association, 61% have conducted business activities on social networks because it is an easy and effective business trend, while it also has low operation costs and offers quick feedback from customers.
About 37% of the businesses said that e-commerce revenue accounted for about 30% of the enterprises’ total revenue while 16% of them have gained 50% of their total revenue from e-commerce activities.
In the first half of this year, about 7,726 websites and e-commerce applications of organisations and individuals were registered to operate in Hanoi.
Nguyen Thanh Hai, deputy director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, said to promote e-commerce development this year, the department has put into operation a website on shopping in Hanoi at http://bandomuasam.hanoi.gov.vn to easily search for prestigious places of shopping, selling consumer goods and food, and the location of vending machines in the capital city.
Now, the department has developed e-commerce in various sectors, online public services, electronic tax declaration and e-payment to create a transparent and fair business environment.
Hanoi has also encouraged businesses to set up e-commerce websites or applications for agricultural products and food and promoted the application of quick response (QR) codes to trace the origin of products and goods and print on anti-counterfeit stamps, authentic stamps or similar stamps to prevent commercial fraud.
Nguyen Manh Hung, Vice President of the Vietnam Standards and Consumer Protection Association, said when shopping online, consumers have difficulty in distinguishing between licensed and unlicensed sale sites and between counterfeit and known-origin goods.
Detection, management and handling of commercial frauds via online shopping are very difficult, because the transactions of fake products lack invoices. Meanwhile, many websites and their transaction accounts on the social network have only a virtual address, so it is difficult to control and handle commercial frauds such as goods lacking quality.
Many consumers worry about these problems when using online shopping platforms.
To protect the interests of consumers, the department has directed relevant state offices to supervise and inspect e-commerce businesses.
Therefore, they have had administrative penalties worth VND3.4 billion for violations in e-commerce activities.
To manage the online business methods, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is drafting a circular regulating the management of e-commerce websites for mobile devices and online trading activities.
In cases of violation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will publicise names of the e-commerce websites and mobile applications that violate existing regulations as well as names and information of traders or organisations owning those websites and apps.
According to a report on the Vietnam e-commerce index conducted by the Vietnam E-commerce Association, in the past five years, Hanoi was one of two cities having the leading e-commerce index in the country.
In 2017, trading value from e-commerce activities in the city was estimated at VND36 trillion (US$1.54 billion).